Have you ever heard the saying that the chain is only as strong as its weakest link?
At the Love Vitamin, I’m always going on about how important all the different areas of health are to clear skin. Diet and digestion; exercise; pleasure, stress reduction, & self love; sleep; and gentle, natural skin care.
If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, be sure to check out my ebook, Naturally Clear Skin, to get a complete roadmap to healing the root cause of acne and getting permanently gorgeously clear skin.
Most of us have some of these areas that we’re doing quite well in, and others not so much.
Or another way to look at it is is that when you go to change your lifestyle to a healthier one, there’s a few areas where you focus most of your attention and efforts and neglect others because they don’t seem as important, or they don’t come as easily to you.
Instead Look to Your Weak Areas First
So if you embark on this skin clearing journey and things are going well but not as well as you hoped, instead of trying to strengthen and refine your link that is already strong, look to your weakest link.
No matter how strong the strongest link is, the chain can still break where it’s weak. By strengthening your strong link, it’s likely you will only see small gains.
Focusing on the weakest link will bring you the most rewards and create the strongest – and clearest – skin and health.
For example, Jane Acne, in pursuit of clear skin, threw out her old way of eating and now eats a really healthy whole foods diet. She also started going to the gym three times a week and meditating for ten minutes per day.
However, she has an extremely irregular sleeping pattern due to her very busy schedule, can’t seem to make much time for fun and pleasure, and she has quite a poor relationship with herself. She hates herself for having acne and talks herself down all the time.
She finds these things very difficult to get around and doesn’t see why they’re that important anyway.
So when things with her skin are going only okay, she automatically wants to start going more hardcore with her already strong links. She wonders if she should go raw vegan, work out 6 days a week, and meditate an hour per day.
Instead, Jane should focus on making time for herself and sleep, and work on self love.
This guest post is an awesome example of how powerful this method can be – Samantha finally focused on her weak link after many years of ignoring it and eventually saw the change in her skin that she had always wanted.
The Weak Link Ain’t Easy Though
However – it’s not like focusing on the weak link is easy. In fact, it’s often the one of the hardest things you can do.
As Chris Kresser says in his article on this topic:
Facing our weakest link usually requires us to step out of our concept of self and challenge our very identity. It asks us to grow and evolve and shine the light of awareness into the dark corners of our psyche.
We often can’t see what our weakest links are, because, by definition, those are areas where we lack awareness or insight. The first challenge in addressing them is that you’re probably not even fully aware that these things are problems.
If you need help identifying what it is for you, it’s the area you’re least likely to value as important and the place you feel most uncomfortable or uncertain about yourself.
But even once we become aware of what our weak links are, it’s still difficult to work with them. We’re fighting against a lifetime of conditioned beliefs about who we are and what we’re supposed to do.
Maybe you were raised in a family that didn’t value rest or pleasure, but placed a high premium on success and accomplishment. This makes it hard to carve out time to relax or have fun.
I agree with Chris. So many – especially those with acne – define health only by healthy eating, but true wellness isn’t about about perfection in one area, it’s about balance in all of them. And finding balance can certainly be a challenge because it requires getting out of your comfort zone.
And don’t worry, you’re not alone. I’m not immune to any of this weak link stuff.
Stress reduction is probably my weakest link. If I’m stressed, taking the time to slow down and meditate, breathe, or anything of the like is probably the absolute hardest thing for me to do.
And if I ever do break out, I am very prone to the “strengthen your strongest link” syndrome. I always automatically start thinking about what to change in my diet, and always have to tell myself to chill out.
I’ll work on it 😉
What do you think your weakest link is? Are you prone to the “strongest link” syndrome?